Dee Cannon is simply the biggest artistic influence in my life! I was lucky enough to be trained by Dee at RADA and know that I will continue to call upon her for coaching. Ever since I was young I dreamed of being trained like this, in the way my favourite actors are. She is a thorough, intense, and nurturing director who is adamant on her students becoming the best they can be. Some of my biggest moments as an actor have been with Dee and I’m eternally grateful. Every character I play begins with work I’ve done with her and no matter who it is I’m working with it’s always Dee I come back to for clear, truthful advice. She offers clarity and security to the actor so that one can be as visceral and vulnerable as one can be and that is rare. If you have the right drive, commitment and passion then Dee Cannon is the way forward.
Credits include: Theate: Macbeth (Globe), Spur of the Moment (Royal Court), A Month in the Country (Chichester). Emperor and Galilean (RNT), Look Homeward Angel (RADA). Feature Film: Page 8 (David Hare)
Dee Cannon is without question one of the most gifted acting coaches/teachers I have come across in years. Thoroughly committed and passionate about her work, she’s got a remarkable understanding of the actor’s craft.
I’ve found that her insight, her intelligence and her unique brand of tough love combine to ensure the actor’s discovery of the very best he has to offer.
Broadway credits: West Side Story, Mamma Mia, Side Man, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 12 Angry Men. Feature film: Kissing Jessica Stein.
Dee Cannon’s no-nonsense approach to acting is a refreshing wake up call to any one looking to pursue a career in performance, film, television or theatre. I had the pleasure of working under Dee’s direction and tutelage for three years during my time at RADA and she constantly challenged my approach to acting; always encouraging me and others to stay present in the “truth” of every moment, to be vigilant about “detail” in one’s work and never allowing anyone to fall into complacency or habit. She devised a playful approach to the work without ever losing sight of the responsibility of the performer- both to tell a believable story to their audience and the responsibility we have as performers to ourselves: to serve our own craft and to produce the best and most detailed work we can at any given moment.
Dee has an ability to objectify you as a performer, forcing you to sometimes accept truths about yourself and your acting habits you may not be able to see in yourself. This skill, and her constant engagement and on-going work in the worlds of commercials, television, film and theatre were amongst some of the best and most useful preparation tools for entering into the tough professional world of acting. I continued my working relationship with Dee after graduation from RADA and was fortunate enough to be instrumental in having her as my personal acting coach in a Warner Bros television series in 2004 and as an acting coach for numerous auditions in Los Angeles. She is hard working and expects hard work in return. I believe her ability to tell it as it is and make insightful perceptions and creative criticisms mark her out as a forerunner in her field- I am grateful to Dee for her ability to always make me challenge my own acting pre-conceptions and strive for greater detail and reality in the work that I do.
Credits include: The Mentalist, The Nine, Kitchen Confidential, Generation Kill, Troy, Midsomer Murders.
MIRIAM KARLIN, OBE
Dee has amazing qualities both as director and teacher. Any actor fortunate enough to work with her will forever know how to approach a role. She inspires and gives courage. Immaculate attention to text, character and detail are her trademarks.
Credits include: Original West End cast of Fiddler on the Roof, The Rag Trade, Miss Marple. Feature films include: Clockwork Orange and Suzie Gold.
Dee was a great source of inspiration when I needed her to work on a role with me. We approached acting from the perspective of a child – I tapped into my naivety and awe. It was sometimes like an Easter egg hunt looking for hidden ideas in the text. I had so much fun working with Dee always enjoying the search and discovery of text and character.
Credits include: Full Metal Jacket, Memphis Belle, Shortcuts, Birdy, The New Hotel Hampshire, Mrs Soffel.
I had the privilege to be taught and directed by Dee Cannon for three years at RADA. Not only did I find her direction and classes insightful, revolutionary and enjoyable; on a much deeper level she has instilled in me a love and respect for the craft of acting. The notion of being instinctive, prepared and finding the truth in every character you play is at the core of her work and is something I will always hold on to. A wonderful and inspirational teacher.
Feature films include: Hippie, Hippie Shake, Made in Dagenham, Atonement, Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake and All or Nothing. TV credits include: Ashes to Ashes, Plus One, Rehab and Tipping the Velvet.
London Talent Agent, Conway Van Gelder Grant
Dee has an extraordinary gift for developing and encouraging acting talent. Her dedication and ceaseless energy to help actors reach their full potential is remarkable. She is very highly regarded in her field, not only for her work at RADA but also in her private coaching.
Working with Dee Cannon is rigorous. You get the honest truth about your acting abilities from Dee and she will push you to be the very best. Trust her and go with it. She knows what she’s doing. Since I trained with Dee, her words are with me at auditions, in rehearsal rooms and on TV and film sets. She’s tough but by God she’s brilliant.
Credits include: Coronation Street (won Best Actress at the 2009 British Soap Awards), Life on Mars. Feature film: Mischief Nights. Leading lady at RSC 2004-5.
Head of Acting, RADA (1993-2003).
During my ten years as head of the acting course at RADA, Dee provided invaluable support as acting tutor to the final-year students in the public productions I directed in the Academy’s theatres. These ranged from high farce (e.g. Feydeau’s Hotel Paradiso) to intense, serious drama (such as R C Sherriff’s Journey’s End). No matter what the style or the period of the script, Dee’s no-nonsense, clear and thorough work has helped many an actor to discover a firm basis of reality in his or her characterisation.
In the case of comedy, this has meant the audience laughed in response to performances with true resonance, not at shallow caricatures. In serious plays, the audience would be genuinely moved and not invited to wallow in sentimentality.
Such work not only brings great value to the cast and the production. It also means that a few individual classes with Dee may save hours of time in company rehearsals.
Principal, RADA (1993-2007)
Dee has done some incredible work at RADA at the highest level. She has worked with generations of students and is one of our most respected teachers.
Dee Cannon offered me a different approach to acting! I had studied a variety of different ‘methods’ of acting for nearly seven years. But all this study was bringing me more into my head and was definitely not bringing me any closer to finding truth in my work.
It was Dee who taught me that you could do all the research, play an objective, be psychological and then just rely on the work and let it go when it comes to performance. I realised that if I have truly done the work it can’t leave me, so I learned to trust it and stop questioning it in performance. This allowed me to have an inner life and freedom which is what every actor is striving to find.
Film credits include: Without a Paddle, One Among Us, My Demon Within.
Dee Cannon was truly an inspiration to me. What I was most struck by was her ability to take an actor who was having a difficult time with a role, pinpoint exactly what the problem was, and address it through an acting exercise.
It was amazing to see how the acting exercise would instantly help the actor. She is also so clear as a director that, as an actor, you know where exactly to go with a role. She insists on every aspect of truth… from the actual props, be it real food, correct costumes and actually living the character.
Dee’s clarity as a director made me feel very secure with what I was doing… and still she gave me enough artistic space to create and explore.
Leads in musicals include: Into the Woods, The Sound of Music, Les Miserables, Evita, West Side Story, A Chorus Line and Sweeney Todd.
MICHAEL M CLEMENTS
Currently Executive Editor for Washington Life Magazine.
When I first sat down with Dee, I didn’t know what to expect. In a sense, I had learned acting from acting opposite many different actors: from doing, not studying. In this way I had picked up a lot of on-camera experience… along with a lot of bad habits.
Dee introduced me to “the work”: the science and psychology of acting, the inners and outers, the art of it. Most importantly, she laid a foundation for me to find “truth” in my performance. Her insight brought my craft to a new level. As a teacher, Dee is as masterful as the method she extols, tuning individually in to each student, to find a way in, to bring out the talent inside.
Credits include: the lead in the Indy feature La Population 12.
Featured roles in: Michael Bey’s The Island, West Wing and Alias.
Dee has been such a mentor to me as a teacher, I hope she would be proud of me. The training I have done with her as a teacher is for me my base as an actor. I think of her a lot and use her methods that I have trained with in all my work as an actor. Of my four years of training at the theatre academy, the weeks with Dee are the ones that affected me the most, and gave me the base I stand on as an actor today!
Swedish feature films: Baba’s Cars, Wings of Glass, Tsatsiki Friends Forever and Gota Kanal 3. Numerous plays at Stockholm Royal Dramatic Theatre, Gothenberg and Malmo, including: Three Sisters, Charlotte Lowenskold, Full Speed Ahead and Grease.
Ex-international football star, Model, L’Oreal
Dee is a wonderful acting coach. Her technique has been invaluable to me, starting a new career in acting. She is very inspirational!
Feature films: The Last Drop & Mr Firecul.
I had the good fortune to meet Dee Cannon when I was a student at the Swedish National Academy of Acting (4-year programme) in 2003. Having her as a teacher made a very big difference to me and all my fellow students as she gave us very useful tools to dig deeper into the understanding of acting and the importance of being honest when working as an artist.
For a student, there is no way you can “hide” or be “left unseen” when working with Dee. She is responsible for allowing me to gain artistic courage and being able to set foot on the big stages of Sweden after graduating as an actor.
Stockholm City Theatre: Rock N Roll, Hamlet. The Tempest, Amadeus, A Streetcar Named Desire, Marat de Sade. Film & TV: We Who Dance, Road Home, 16th Talk, Proud Matador and Lanta Fjadrar.
Dee Cannon is the best teacher in town!
Actor and independent film maker.
Film credits include Batman, Scandal and Alien.
TV Credits: The Paradise Club & Bonekickers.